Democrats Want to Abolish I.C.E.

Time to Abolish the Democratic Party



Abolition – the action or an act of abolishing a system, practice, or institution.

  • Synonyms: termination, eradication, elimination, extermination, destruction, annihilation, obliteration, or extirpation.

Hypocrite – a person who indulges in hypocrisy.

  • Synonyms: pretender, dissembler, deceiver, liar, pietist, sanctimonious person, phony, fraud, sham or fake.

According to the Democratic Party of 2018, we must abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (I.C.E.) and replace it with something else. What that something else should be, they never say.

Perhaps I.C.E. could be replaced by the same left-wing mobs that are going around harassing conservatives in restaurants, department stores, movie theaters and gas stations, and standing around holding signs, screaming and yelling nonsense at the top of their lungs every weekend. This might just be enough to drive away terrorists, smugglers, gangs, and drug cartels. Nah, that won’t work.

Also, according to Democrats, a woman should have the right to choose to have an abortion, resulting in the annihilation of her own unborn child. To punish a woman for choosing extermination, which is her right, is morally unconscionable, according to Democrats.

Yet, when it comes to health care, in defending Obamacare, Democrats reason that whether male, female, or somewhere in between, anyone declining coverage should indeed be punished, via the income tax code (i.e. the individual mandate). You either play, or you pay.

So, let’s get this straight. Under the Democratic Party’s philosophy, you have a right to choose not to be covered by health insurance, but if you do you will be punished financially. Yet, a woman should have the right to terminate the life of her unborn child without consequence. Well, you’re either for freedom or you’re not. Selectively choosing when, or for whom it applies is hypocrisy.

The left-wing movement du jour, the push to abolish I.C.E., is sounding more and more like a Russian propaganda campaign. Quick, somebody call the Special Counsel! Nah, that won’t work either.

The next course of action should be to officially abolish the Democratic Party, which has renounced the use of reason to such a degree that it is effectively obliterating itself. It’s extirpation is just a matter of time. What America needs is a new political party, one that doesn’t recklessly commit hypocrisy on such fundamental American principles as our freedom and sovereignty.

Two Points on the GOP’s Tax Hikes and Jobs Act

Tax Hikes and Jobs Act

Point #1

Like a broken record, Republican promotors of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act insist that by raising the 2018 standard deduction for single filers from $6,500 to $12,200, for couples from $13,000 to $24,400, and by lowering selective tax rates, that their plan will usher in a huge tax cut for the middle-class. It, in fact, does no such thing.

Whenever challenged with the reality that their proposal will result in a tax increase on many of their constituents, they exclaim, “Yes, but we are doubling the standard deduction!” Yet, not one of them ever mentions that they are, simultaneously, repealing the personal exemption deduction of $4,150, per person.

In 2018, the standard deduction for single filers will be $6,500, and for married taxpayers filing jointly $13,000, while the personal exemption will be $4,150 (per person). That means a single non-itemizer would already have received $10,650 ($6,500 standard deduction + $4,150 personal exemption) of tax exempt income before the proposal, versus $12,200 after. And, a married couple, without children and not itemizing, would already have received $21,300 of tax exempt income before the proposal, versus $24,400 after.

For single filers, the difference between $12,200 and $10,650 isn’t double, it’s only $1,550. For married couples, the difference between $24,400 and $21,300 is a mere $3,100. This isn’t a doubling of the standard deduction. It is effectively an increase to the standard deduction of $1,550 for single filers and $3,100 for couples without children. So, please stop lying to us.

Furthermore, since this is income that would have been taxed at a rate of 10% before the proposal, the amount of taxes saved will be just $155 for singles, and $310 for couples without children. Those with at least one child will start out in the hole, and must rely on an expansion in tax credits just to get back to par.

Point #2

According to the Congressional Research Service, more than 50% of taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes of $50,000, or more, itemize their deductions. Those with $50,000 to $100,000 of adjusted gross income claim average itemized deductions of $19,187, while those with $100,000 to $200,000 in income claim an average of $25,598 (see table below).

Share of Itemized Deductions and Average Claimed

So, more than half of taxpayers, who pay most of the income tax, itemize. And, the Republican bill seeks to eliminate their deductions for state and local taxes, real estate taxes, medical expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses. This won’t end well.

Share of Avg Itemized Deductions by Income

Among the deductions Republicans seek to disallow, according to the Congressional Research Service, on average, most itemizers with adjusted gross incomes of $50,000 to $100,000 stand to lose a least the following (see table above):

  • State and local taxes: $2,879
  • Real estate taxes: $3,494
  • Total $6,373

And, most itemizers with adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 to $200,000 will, on average, lose at least the following:

  • State and local taxes: $6,033
  • Real estate taxes: $4,883
  • Total $10,916

Although Republicans are also repealing medical expenses and unreimbursed employee expenses, they are not included here because they are not claimed by the bulk of taxpayers. On the other hand, state and local taxes, and real estate taxes are claimed as often as the mortgage interest deduction.

You might say that mortgage interest, real estate taxes and state and local taxes go hand in hand. But, that doesn’t mean one should discount the importance of deductions for medical and unreimbursed employee business expenses.

Almost everyone knows at least one infirm or elderly person that spends all or most of their income on medical care. This is not by choice. Denying them the ability to offset their income will force many into a tax liability where none previously existed.

Collecting taxes from the elderly and infirm, those with the least ability to pay, is of course detestable, but well within the spirit of this horrible bill. The same applies to sales persons and other employees who spend much of their time on the road and are not reimbursed for all the expenses they must incur to earn their pay.

Add the loss of deductions for the state and local taxes, and real estate taxes to the loss of the $4,150 (per person) personal exemption deduction, and single itemizers with adjusted gross incomes between $50,000 and $100,000 stand to lose total deductions of at least $10,523, while married itemizers (without children) lose $14,673.

Thus, under the Republican proposal, an average single itemizer with adjusted gross income between $50,000 and $100,000 stands to lose $10,523 in deductions, which equates to an $1,884 tax hike (at 17.9%). An average married couple (without children) in the same bracket will lose $14,673 in deductions, which equates to a $2,421 tax hike (at 16.5%).

Single itemizers with incomes between $100,000 to $200,000 will lose total deductions of $15,066, while married filers (without children) lose $19,216. Thus, an average single itemizer with adjusted gross income of $100,000 to $200,000 will see a $3,254 tax hike (at 21.6%), while a married couple in the same bracket will see their taxes rise by $3,728 (at 19.4%).

Losing the ability to deduct state and local taxes, real estate taxes, medical expenses and employee business expenses may impair a taxpayer’s ability to itemize at all. That’s because mortgage interest and charitable contributions, alone, for the majority, will not be enough to exceed the proposed $12,200 and $24,400 standard deduction. Thus, taxes will rise more on some taxpayers than others.

At this point, Republican lawmakers will say, “But, you have to look at the whole package. We are also lowering tax rates, and your boss is going to give you a $4,000, or more, pay raise.”

Expanding the 12% bracket to the first $45,000 of taxable income for single filers, to $90,000 for couples; and the 25% bracket to incomes of $200,000 and $260,000, respectively, doesn’t make up all the shortfall for those losing deductions. Although the average tax rate will drop by 1.2 percentage points on single filers, and 1.4 percentage points on couples, middle-class itemizers will at best break even. That’s because a greater amount of their income will be subject to income taxes. At worst, they are punished with a tax hike.

Apples to apples, if deductions were not being disallowed, the GOP’s proposed adjustment to the tax brackets would be a good thing. But, this isn’t apples to apples, it’s apples to applesauce. The GOP is telling more than 50% of middle-class taxpayers, who currently itemize their deductions, “We’re going to tax you on a greater amount of your income, but you’ll save money because we’re taxing it at a lower rate.”

Voilà! That explains why a majority, already carrying the burden of taxes, now face a Republican tax hike. Meanwhile, health insurance premiums continue to spin out of control, and if you’re fortunate enough to afford it, it will no longer be deductible. If this bill passes, you better hope that pay raise comes fast, otherwise the public will vote against every one of you in 2018.

The GOP’s tax reform proposal effectively raises the standard deduction by $1,550 for single filers, and by $3,100 for married couples without children, while lowering it for couples with at least one child. It takes away average deductions of $10,523 to $19,216 for more than half of middle-class taxpayers that itemized their deductions. The lowering of tax rates and expansion of tax credits are fancy mechanisms designed to mitigate a portion of the damage. This is not a tax cut, it’s a tax hike by design.

Another Way

To avoid raising taxes on the middle-class, the GOP could increase its proposed standard deduction on single filers from $12,200 to $21,800, and on couples from $24,400 to 43,600. That way, more than 50% of middle-class taxpayers won’t be punished. A move in this direction would promote simplicity and fairness. It would also be more in line with the original proposal that put DJT in the White House.


What the Republican Tax Reform Plan Lacks

According to White House Press Secretary, Sarah Sanders, “Very few people itemize. I think it’s around 20% of people that actually itemize. Those things will be offset by other tax credits that are part of this plan…”

Ms. Sanders would be correct, if she was referring to households earning less than $50,000 per year, a figure which barely skirts the middle-class. However, as you can see in the chart below, 41.7% of households earning between $50,000 and $75,000 itemize. The figure jumps to 58.5% for those earning $75,000 to $100,000, and rises to 78.8% for those earning between $100,000 to $200,000.


On average, 30.1% of taxpayers itemize. A figure which comprises roughly 44,000,000 households. This is something neither the White House nor Congress should take lightly. Any effort to reform the tax code should at least begin with the facts.

The Republican tax reform plan proposes to eliminate the $4,050 (per person) personal exemption, and limit a household’s ability to itemize deductions, replacing both concepts with a higher standard deduction. The proposed standard deduction is $12,000 for single filers, and $24,000 for married couples.

In tax year 2016, the standard deduction and personal exemption(s) combined were $10,350 (6,300 + 4,050) for single filers, and $20,700 (12,600 + 8,100) for married couples. Keep in mind that taxpayers able to claim dependents were allowed additional personal exemptions of $4,050 for each. Dependents include children and in many cases elderly parents.

Under the Republican framework, single taxpayers, who currently do not have enough deductions to itemize, and are not claiming dependents, will receive an extra $1,650 (12,000 – 10,350) of tax free income. Since this income was previously taxed at 10%, their savings under the Republican plan are a mere $165.

Married taxpayers filing jointly, who currently do not have enough deductions to itemize, and are not claiming dependents, will receive an extra $3,300 (24,000 – 20,700) of tax free income. Since this income was previously taxed at 10%, their savings under the Republican plan are a mere $330.

The Republican framework further eliminates the 10%, 15%, 28% and 33% tax brackets. Commencing at 12%, the new framework then jumps to 25%, then 35% and potentially up to 39.6%. We don’t yet know where each bracket will end, but we do know that the plan represents a 20% tax hike at the lowest level. Not good.

2016 Tax Bracket Single

2016 Single Tax Rate Schedule

Actually, in raising the bottom tax rate from 10% to 12%, the Republican plan takes back all of the initial tax savings, placing both single filers and couples in the red. Thus, for non-itemizers, the premise of a higher standard deduction combined with the elimination of the personal exemption results in less than nothing in terms of a tax cut.

Furthermore, married and single non-itemizers with dependent parents or children turn out to be big losers. So, if the framework does nothing for non-itemizers, what will it do for those that currently itemize? I’ll use myself as an example.

For tax year 2016 I filed as Single with no dependents, had itemized deductions of just over $20,000, and claimed a personal exemption of $4,050. Rounding it off, my total deductions were $24,000. That means my taxable income was computed as total income minus $24,000. That’s where the tax brackets kick in.

Of the $20,000 I claimed in itemized deductions, around $6,000 was mortgage interest, $9,000 were employee business expenses (which don’t appear to be part of the discussion), and the remainder were real estate and state and local income taxes.

Being single in 2016 meant the first $9,275 of taxable income (i.e. income above my deductions of $24,000) was taxed at 10%, the next $28,374 at 15%, and the next $53,499 at 25% (see table above).

Moving forward, instead of being allowed to claim my usual itemized deductions and personal exemption of roughly $24,000, the Republican framework will limit me to a new standard deduction of $12,000 (for single filers). Thus, $12,000 of my income that was previously un-taxed will now be subject to a 12% income tax.

So, where $12,000 of my income wasn’t previously taxed, the Republican plan taxes it at 12%, thereby increasing the government’s coffers by an extra $1,440. And, this is just the starting point.

Where the next $9,275 of my income was previously taxed at 10%, the Republican plan taxes it at a rate of 12%, favoring the government by an additional $186. So far, the government is ahead by $1,626. Will an adjustment in the tax brackets make up for my shortfall?

Now, where my next $28,374 of income was previously taxed at 15%, it will presumably be taxed at 12%, assuming the new 12% bracket covers at least the first $49,649 of taxable income (12,000 + 9,275 + 28,374). Compare this to the chart above. If correct, this saves me $851 in taxes (3% of 28,374). Yet, the government is still ahead by $775. If the bracket isn’t extended, I am forced even further into the abyss.

In fact, to break even the 12% tax bracket must be extended to $55,611, for a single person in my shoes (49,649 + (775 / (.25 – .12))). But, since the Republican framework is billed as a big beautiful tax cut, not just a crafty way to simplify the code, at the expense of the middle-class, the 12% bracket must be extended further for me to realize an actual reduction in taxes.

To receive a modest tax cut of $1,440, the 12% tax bracket must apply to taxable income of $0 to $66,688. That’s what it will take for me to lose my current itemized deductions and personal exemption, and wind up with a modest tax cut. It may take more, or less for you, but you get the gist.

Yet, according to the White House, the average American family will receive a $4,000 tax cut. For a taxpayer in my shoes to receive a $4,000 tax cut, the 12% bracket for single individuals must be extended to taxable income of up to $86,380.

So, my new benchmarks for the Republican plan are as follows (yours may differ). If the 12% bracket, for single individuals, ends at $55,611 or less, then the bill is garbage. If the bracket extends to the first $66,688 of taxable income, then it’s alright. And, if the 12% bracket for single filers applies to taxable incomes of up to $86,380, then I’m all in.

Tax brackets for married individuals filing jointly should be roughly double the single brackets. That means the 12% bracket for married couples should apply to taxable income of no less than $111,222 to break even, $133,376 for a modest tax cut, and more optimally to $172,760 to be in line with the administration’s rhetoric.

If you think the Republican middle-class tax hike will be made up for by tax credits, first know that refundable tax credits are not in line with Republican principles. The refundable child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and education tax credit are wealth redistribution mechanisms, favoring special interests, supported by liberals and socialists, and should be abolished under a true Republican administration.

Leaving refundable tax credits in the tax code lends nothing towards simplification, or fairness. As I have long advocated, it is enough not to owe any income taxes at all, that should be as good as it gets. Going beyond this, into the realm of refundable tax credits, only leads to government dependence and unnecessary red ink.

To sum it up, if the 12% tax bracket doesn’t apply to taxable incomes of at least $66,688 for single individuals, and $133,376 for married couples, then the Republican tax plan is little more than a sham, favoring special interests, and will end up confiscating and redistributing even more wealth from the middle-class than it does today.

Alternative Plan:

As an alternative, Republicans could simply raise the standard deduction as proposed, keep the deduction for personal exemptions, maintain the current framework for itemizing, and lower tax rates starting from the bottom up. Add to this a business tax cut and you’ve got something that makes sense.


Tax Foundation: Who Itemizes Deductions?

Politics is a Team Sport: Rand Paul’s Destiny

adfa7100cb2d163a27ee88a1965a4c19_400x400Rick Perlstein said it best, “I believe politics is a team sport. That, for awful and unfortunate reasons beyond any of our control, the American system only allows, effectively, for two teams.”

Is politics a team sport? The question resurfaced recently when Senator Rand Paul referred to the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Plan as — “Amnesty for Obamacare.”

When I saw this, I immediately fired off a tweet to Senator Paul stating, “Not again! It’s a team sport. Time is up. If you are not Republican, then get off the team and go join the Democrats.”

An unidentified third party then replied, “Wrong – it’s absolutely NOT a team sport. Members must represent their constituents’ wishes – not follow some pigheaded slogan.”

In reality, it’s Senator Paul who’s following a self-contrived “pigheaded slogan”, while most Republicans in the House, 90%+ of those in the Senate, and the Trump Administration are in support of a “bill”, which repeals the main provisions of Obamacare, and takes power away from the District of Columbia, handing it back to the states.

If politics isn’t a team sport, then why do political parties exist? And, what is the purpose of winning the majority in both houses and the White House if the party in control isn’t going to stick together on major legislation? Of course, politics is a team sport.

Yet there always seems to be at least one grandstanding maverick, almost always a Republican, who wants to make a name for himself rather than play his position. Face it, Rand Paul doesn’t represent any constituents. Like John McCain and a few others, he merely represents himself.

If Senator Paul represents anyone, it should be the party he belongs to, whichever that may be. At this point, he represents constituents of the Democratic Party, who oppose the bill at all costs, and cares nothing for Republicans, the majority of whom favor some measure of victory.

Under the Graham-Cassidy plan a Federal block grant is given annually to states to help individuals pay for health care, Planned Parenthood is defunded, and the individual mandate, employer mandate, and medical device tax are completely repealed, to name a few. But even better, it’s supported by most Republicans in the House, 90%+ of those in the Senate, and the Trump Administration. So, what’s Rand Paul’s problem?

If Senator Paul can’t get 90%+ of Republican Senators to go along with his proposal, which he can’t, then perhaps he should dismount from his high horse and support the 90%+ of his party who see merit in Graham-Cassidy. If that’s not good enough for Senator Paul, then only one choice remains.

Stop calling yourself a Republican, and go team up with those more in line with your views. At this point in time that would be none other than the Democratic Party, which stands firm, in unison, against every proposal favored by the President and the majority of Republicans.

Extremist v. Extremist, Intolerance

charlottesville81217If you’ve ever been out in the streets protesting anything, you’re an extremist. If you’ve ever assembled peaceably to petition anyone, other than the government for redress of grievances, you’re an extremist. If you can’t handle the First Amendment rights of peaceable assembly and freedom of speech, you don’t deserve to be called an American.

According to the First Amendment, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, …or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Freedom of speech may be defined as, “the right to express any opinions without censorship or restraint.” The right to peaceably assemble, and to petition government for redress of grievances may be defined as, “the individual right or ability of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their ideas; and make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, one’s government, without fear of punishment or reprisals.”

Congress has, thus far, made no laws abridging the freedom of speech, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Yet others, including some local governments, federal government employees, extremist groups, the Democratic Party, Google / YouTube, and Facebook, often enforce their own un-American statutes.

For example, Google recently suspended my Google Plus account indefinitely, without any right of appeal, simply for declaring myself to be a Trump supporter and posting pro-Trump news articles. Of course, prior to doing so my Collection, entitled, “Trump 2016 / 2020” had over 10,000 followers and more than 10,000,000 views. My attempts to reinstate the account fell on deaf ears.

Since I did not violate any of Google’s rules, it claimed that I violated its impersonation policy, even though, unlike others, I used my real name and biographical profile. Thus, I am no longer a part of Google’s social networking experiment. I no longer have the freedom to express myself, nor the right to peaceably associate with friends and followers, at least not using Google’s services. Nine years of associations, thousands of followers, hundreds of posts and comments, gone in a flash. So, what’s next?

If the KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, white nationalists, Alt-left, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter or any other group wants to assemble peaceably to petition the government, they have a right to do so without fear of punishment or reprisals. Certainly, such groups have the right to assemble, and the freedom to write or say whatever they wish. But, that’s not the problem in this era. The plight of our day lies in counter-protests.

Counter-protesters serve no useful purpose other than to deny others of their basic Constitutional guarantees. Government condemnation of domestic hate groups serves no meaningful purpose, as they have a right to exist. The role of the federal government should be to condemn intolerance. There is no place for intolerance, at any level, in our society.

Counter-protesters are not petitioning the government for anything. They are rather protesting against other people’s rights to speak freely, to assemble and to petition the government. Shutting down the right of free speech, or the right to associate and petition the government is not the American way.

What the federal government should do is shut down counter-protest movements in every shape, form and fashion. Congress must pass additional laws protecting basic first amendment rights, by cracking down on counter-protesters. It must also outlaw the practice of street protests. Allowing opposing groups to protest at the same time, in public venues, is asinine.

Allowing any group to protest in the streets, or public places, violates the rights of others. Allowing groups with opposing views to counter-protest encourages violence. Rather than cultivate intolerance and violence, the federal government should do everything within its power to discourage it, while at the same time protecting everyone’s First Amendment rights.

The role of the federal government, and all who have taken oath to uphold the Constitution, is not to pick sides, but rather to promote tolerance in a diversity of ideas.

Google’s actions against me are reprehensible. But, the freedom I have was not granted by Google, and Google cannot take it away. Rather than fight, I have chosen to take my business elsewhere.

If you don’t like MSNBC or CNN, don’t watch. If you don’t like Donald Trump, don’t go to a Trump rally, stay at home. Better yet, pow-wow with the candidate of your choice and prepare for the 2020 election. If you don’t agree with the KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, white nationalists, the Alt-left, Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, the Democratic Party, or any other group, don’t support them or attend their functions. Instead support and associate with groups you agree with. Actions such as these are not extreme in nature, but are simply the American way.